The Last Train from Hiroshima: The Survivors Look Back
Author: Charles Pellegrino
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Release Date: January 19, 2010
Drawing on the voices of atomic-bomb survivors and the new science of forensic archaeology, Charles Pellegrino describes the events and aftermath of two days in August when nuclear devices detonated over Japan changed life on Earth forever
Last Train from Hiroshima offers readers a stunning “you are there” time capsule, gracefully wrapped in elegant prose. Charles Pellegrino’s scientific authority and close relationship with the A-bomb’s survivors make his account the most gripping and authoritative ever written.**
At the narrative’s core are eyewitness accounts of those who experienced the atomic explosions firsthand—the Japanese civilians on the ground and the American flyers in the air. Thirty people are known to have fled Hiroshima for Nagasaki—where they arrived just in time to survive the second bomb. One of them, Tsutomu Yamaguchi, is the only person who experienced the full effects of the cataclysm at ground zero both times. The second time, the blast effects were diverted around the stairwell in which Yamaguchi had been standing, placing him and a few others in a shock coccoon that offered protection, while the entire building disappeared around them.
Pellegrino weaves spellbinding stories together within an illustrated narrative that challenges the “official report,” showing exactly what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki—and why.
**As of Mar 2010, the publisher is discontinuing publication of the book due to issues with its veracity.
"Publisher Henry Holt and Company, said that author Charles Pellegrino "was not able to answer" concerns about "The Last Train from Hiroshima," including whether two men mentioned in the book actually existed...Doubts were first raised about the book a week ago after Pellegrino acknowledged that one of his interview subjects had falsely claimed to be on one of the planes accompanying the Enola Gay, from which an atom bomb was dropped by the United States on Hiroshima in 1945. Holt had initially promised to send a corrected edition.
But further doubts about the book emerged. The publisher was unable to determine the existence of a Father Mattias (the first name is not given) who supposedly lived in Hiroshima at the time of the bombing, and John MacQuitty, identified as a Jesuit scholar presiding over Mattias' funeral.
Pellegrino's own background was also questioned. He sometimes refers to himself as Dr. Pellegrino, and his Web site lists him as receiving a Ph.D. in 1982 from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. But in response to a query from the AP, the school said it had no proof that Pellegrino had such a degree."